The payments trends that merchants should watch out for in 2021
Making predictions for the year to come is difficult at the best of times. 2020 has been proof of that as we entered unchartered territory across a year that will be remembered for the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on commerce, and the way we pay for goods and services.
The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the shift to online and cashless payments, due in part to increased social distancing, as well as the national and local lockdowns and restrictions, many businesses have had to adapt quickly.
With this due to carry on into 2021, it is important to look at what the new year will bring for the realm of omnichannel across many sectors, including transport, parking, petrol, retail and vending. Here I share the 2021 trends to watch out for.
Mobility as a service driving the transport sector
Due to the social distancing and lockdown measures, we have seen a real change in public habits when it comes to transportation over the last three months. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.
Technological advancements, alongside open payments, have unlocked new possibilities across multiple industries. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey. In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.
Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose. Payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. What remains critical is balancing the need for a fast and convenient payment with safety and data privacy in order to deliver superior customer experiences.
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